Go after masterminds behind illegal brothels

The police must be thanked for their recent blitz against illegal brothels and sleazy massage parlours - their latest in ongoing raids - and commended for their efforts (Chasing vice out of the HDB heartland; Dec 21, 2017).

They have had some successes. However, so far, they have nabbed only the prostitutes and not the masterminds.

These prostitutes are usually on short-term visit passes. You can throw a few into jail, but others will continue to come because of Singapore's open-door immigration policy.

It is time for government agencies to act together to make the masterminds face the music.

Property owners cannot claim ignorance when their properties are used for such illegal activities.

The Housing Board must start taking action against these owners for allowing their properties to be used as brothels.

If properties that are used as drug or gambling dens can be confiscated, why not those that are used as brothels?

Until we hit the masterminds and property owners where it hurts the most, the police will be winning the battle but losing the war.

Patrick Tan Siong Kuan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 16, 2018, with the headline 'Go after masterminds behind illegal brothels'. Print Edition | Subscribe